It's funny; I've just finished reading a book on Zen and the author said she would like to see how I (the reader) would react the next time there's a challenging situation. At the time of reading it I was on a Zen high so I thought yeah, no problem.
Then today happened.
I was having a crappy day at work - crap as in loads of weight to carry on icy roads and footpaths, and I can't seem to turn my neck for some reason - got a problem with a gland I think.
So I get home an hour later than usual. I'm hungry and tired. All I want to do is let the dog out for a wee, feed her and the cat, feed myself and sit and chill for a bit.
But what I find when I get home is that the dog has done a poo in the kitchen, eaten it, and is now looking sorry for herself because she feels like crap. I clean up the left-overs on the kitchen floor, wash my hands and start thinking what I can have for lunch.
Then the dog is sick (not just a little bit - we're talking a puddle of the stuff!) in her basket covering her tail and one of her paws.
I rush into her and tell her to 'STAY' as I go and get some kitchen roll. I turn around and she has headed towards the backdoor, trailing sick all across the livingroom carpet.
I go around trying to find where the sick is. I clean it up with cloths and more kitchen roll. I spray the carpet with carpet cleaner and get on my hands and knees and start scrubbing.
Then she's sick again!
'What the &%^£!?'
So I go and clean that bit, too.
Then my girlfriend sends me a text asking if it's OK for me to pick her up from the trainstation in 20mins. 'Yeah sure'.
I clean up the mess, put the dogs bedding in the wash, along with the dozens of cloths I've used - - - - - - and she's sick again!!
'You've got to be freaking kidding me!'
Then she's sick again!!!
Proper projectile vomming!
I lost my temper at the dog for hurling on the carpet because I told her to go on the cheap rug in the doorway (as if she would understand what I'm saying).
The dog had hurled seven times in total.
I totally lost the plot.
I allowed the situation to get a hold of me and rip me to shreds.
I got the dog in my car and we set off to go to the trainstation - I forgot to clean her tail and paw so my car stunk of vomit.
I started to replay the whole scene over and over again in my head but from an observer's point of view.
Boy, did I look stupid.
The situation was as it was.
It was fine as it was.
My little self (as opposed to my Self) crept in and stole the limelight.
What it was saying was,
'This is not fair!'
'This isn't the way I wanted to spend my afternoon!'
'I shouldn't have to clean sick up!'
'I've had a crap day as it is, all I want to do is sit and chill.'
Basically it was showing complete resistance to what already was.
What a complete waste of energy!
In hindsight (Oh sweet, old hindsight) I can see that it was all part of my practice.
If I had have just dealt with the situation head-on, stuck to the facts, and done what needed to be done in the moment then the whole escapade would have gone a lot more smoothly.
Self observation is key.